Officially Mrs. H

Today was a good day.

First things first.  I slammed 36 ounces of water and went to my ultrasound.  And my lady parts are all normal!  Hooray.  I was very worried about this for the last few weeks and it’s such a relief to know nothing is wrong.

Then I went to officially change my name!

First stop—Social Security.  I was in and out in 15 minutes.  The employees were pleasant.  All in all, a good experience!  My new card should arrive in the mail in 2 weeks or so.

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Then, I went to the DMV.  Again, fairly pleasant, quick experience.  And not a bad picture, either!

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Please note that my birthday is in twelve days.  I LOVE birthdays.

On my way back home, I stopped at the bank and changed the name on my accounts.  Then I drove home and called my credit card companies and changed my name THERE.  Then I tried working out my passport, but I’m going to have to get a new passport photo taken before that’s done.  And then I did my frequent flyer miles (v. important!).

I never realized how much is in a name change, but I’m very happy with my decision.  My new name sounds much nicer, and is less confusing than my old name.  Is it weird getting used to?  Well, yeah.  I feel like I’m in kind of an in-betweeny state of limbo now, because I’m not really sure what name to sign on stuff, since I’m still waiting on new debit cards and stuff.  But, that will fade.

I also decided to make a blackberry/strawberry cobbler.  Instead of running.

0607 003 0607 004Yum.

(I’m still going to get my weekly mileage in for marathon (OMG) training, but I just don’t like running in my neighborhood.  It’s boring, and hilly, and I have to tons of loops.  I’ll hit the treadmill tomorrow.)

In other news, I very much liked reading everyone’s thoughts on melons.  It appears honeydew is not very well-liked.  I do very much like cantaloupe and watermelon, but honeydew just doesn’t do it for me.  Meh.

While we’re on the subject of fruit…what’s your favorite berry?

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It’s the final countdown

Arrested Development, anyone?

 

This morning…I got to sleep in an extra hour!

It was to go to the gynecologist, though.  Oddly, this is something I don’t mind, probably because my mom worked for OB/GYNs for 20 years, and I worked there after school in high school.  I’m kind of desensitized.

Fun fact: My old gynecologist is coming to our wedding!  (I switched because of the move, obviously.)  She’s a family friend.

This office was a little odd.  There were lots of teddy bears in the room:

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And a shelf of old-timey medicine bottles…and more teddy bears.

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Anyway, take this as your reminder to get annual pap smears.  (finger wag)

Unfortunately, I have a cyst of some kind that’s going to have to be monitored.  But, the doc says it’s nothing to worry about and I trust her.

There was no workout today.  I was late to work because of the appointment, and there was a going away luncheon for someone at work.  BBQ was on the menu—I skipped the sides and just had a sandwich with barbecue beef. 

I also had about half of a small slice of cheesecake. 

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Around 4 p.m., I snacked on my Greek yogurt that was in my lunch (I forgot about said luncheon and brought a lunch anyway).  I knew I’d be getting home late tonight!

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Because of my final dress fitting!

0428 005 0428 006 0428 007I have a wedding dress hanging in my house now.  Whoa.

Unfortunately, I felt kind of dumpy and gross in it tonight.  Apparently, every other time I try on my wedding dress sucks…so, that means when I put it on in ten days, it will be great!  It’s hard not to see the other super-skinny brides in beautiful dresses and say “I wish I looked like that” or “Her dress is prettier than mine.”

I am doing my best to chalk it up to the fact that it was a long day at work, I was tired and didn’t feel like being there, and I didn’t have any of my accessories/veil on. 

I got home, and another wedding gift!

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Ramekins!

Unfortunately, klutzy me actually managed to drop one on the floor and break it while I was unwrapping.  So…now we have 7 ramekins, not 8.  Luckily, they are only $2.50 and easily replaced.

Julia asked in the comments to yesterday’s post how I was feeling, so I thought it’d be a good time to discuss my mental state.

I think the best way I can describe how I’ve felt for the last week is like I have perma-PMS.  I am moody.  Some moments I am over the moon happy and excited, but in a moment I can snap and feel like taking someone’s head off.  Last night I had a full-out breakdown—I deal with stress by crying, and I tend to let small things build up and let them all out at once rather than deal with things one at a time.  Basically, what it amounted to is that I’m overwhelmed.  I keep getting questions from wedding guests and family members, I’m juggling emails with the florist, the photographer, the hotel, the pastor, and the reception venue, and I’m….overwhelmed.  And coming to the realization that even though I’ve heard it over and over, I can’t really make everyone happy.  And I feel guilty for feeling this way, because I feel like I should be giddy and giggling and radiating glitter.

And those four people?  Still haven’t RSVPed.

I am ready to be done and be married.  I’m sure the wedding day is going to be awesome, and ultimately, I am very thankful for my friends and family that care so much about me and Tim.   But…right now the last minute things still have to get done, and they’re stressing me out.

Hopefully I will get a ton of stuff done this weekend.  Until then…I’m breathing.  And putting one foot in front of the other, and keeping my eye on the prize.  It will all be okay.

I’m a bad, bad bride

(And blogger, because I forgot my camera today.)

Lunch was about the same as usual lately—cantyloupe, strawberries, Greek yogurt, a multigrain bagel with Laughing Cow cheese, and what was SUPPOSED to be a big bowl of spinach with a little balsamic on it.  But, the balsamic was left at home.  Clearly, I’m forgetful today.

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After work, I went to the gym in the pouring rain.  I ran about ten steps and my knee and shin just didn’t feel great, so I stopped.  At this point, I’m just holding out until I get my custom orthotics—I will probably do minimal running until then, because a) obviously my current shoe situation is not working and I don’t want  to make the problem worse and b) I kind of have minimal energy for the gym going on right now because of the wedding.

I spent half an hour on the elliptical.  It was kind of miserable.  Dan Savage’s podcast was the only saving grace.  (PS:  I met Dan Savage.  He’s been in my car.  He gave me marriage advice and we did a shot together.)

Now, why I’m a bad bride.

Our house has been kind of in a state of perma-squalor for the last few weeks.  I haven’t been around to clean, Tim just doesn’t really notice that things need cleaning, so, yeah, it’s gotten bad.  Particularly…our carpet.  You can imagine the amount of hair two moderately floofy cats in springtime, a beagle, and a stressed twentysomething redhead Sasquatch produce.

So I broke the rules.  Technically, any shower or wedding gifts received before the wedding aren’t supposed to be used until, well, after the wedding.  But I was dying to use our Dyson Animal Ball and get some normal, clean carpet going on.  (Our current vacuum, well, doesn’t suck, literally.)  It was worth it.  Even Tim begged me to take a whirl.

0422 002Yes, friends, we exceeded MAX DIRT in our house.  (Okay, more like max animal hair.)

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It appears the major culprits were Southpaw and me. 

(If Tim dumps me in the next two weeks, I’ll ask my sister if she wants her money back.  But I’m keeping the damn vacuum.)

In other wedding news…we have a situation.

We invited 204 guests to our wedding.  We currently have 88 coming (3 of which are children under 5 that are free), 80 NOT coming, and 36 question marks.  Of the 36 question marks, we’re anticipating that at most, 8 or 9 will come.  (Most of them are really long distance guests we’re not SUPER close to.)

Our venue contract states that we have a minimum of $X.  To meet $X, we would have to have 114 guests attend under our basic wedding package.  Clearly…that’s not going to happen.  But we don’t want to pay all this money to the venue for 20 guests that aren’t there, right?

So we are looking into upgrading our package.

  • If we upgrade from the basic package to the deluxe package, we get an extra hors d’oeuvre, wine service during dinner (we have open bar, but it closes during the meal), and a full on dessert table with 12 options rather than two plated dessert options.  The cons of this?  If we do have about 95 guests attending, it will put us slightly over our minimum—not a ton, but a few hundred bucks.  Also, it doesn’t seem like we GET all that much more for what we’re paying.  Our crowd doesn’t really drink wine, so I doubt they’ll make much use of the wine service.
  • Stick with our current package and add a lot more appetizers and some other random stuff—side dishes, maybe a special martini bar, maybe more desserts.  The cons of this?  We already have a TON of food.  Like, guests are going to be rolling around.  Do we really need to add a sweet table if we’re already going to have two flavors of wedding cake, cheesecake, and profiteroles?  Prolly not.
  • Stick with our current package and eat the cost.

We’re not really into just eating the cost…but neither other option seems great either.  I’m thinking of potentially bargaining with the reception venue—maybe pay for the deluxe package, but skip the wine and add a few more apps instead?  Or see if I can switch the wine service at dinner to keeping the bar open?  I don’t know.

What do you think?  Upgrade the package?  Add on a bunch of appetizers?  Any other great ideas?

Happy Easter!

Today started out with Tim telling me I was not allowed out of bed because I woke up feeling gross.  Post-nasal drip is foul—the sludge piles up overnight and I woke up with a raw throat and upset stomach.

BUT, I knew I’d feel better once I got up and moving, so I ignored him and quickly got ready for church.  I really love services on Easter Sunday—they’re so cheery and happy.

Since many of you liked my dress, I took a full-body shot.  Yes, I re-wore it.  That’s the beauty of an intentionally wrinkled dress—you can’t get it wrinkled!  I got it at Target last summer for $19.99 and I get complimented on it more than any other piece of clothing I owned.

Apologies for the awkwardface.  And our messy house.0404 001

Anyway, services were lovely, including the baptism of a chubby little baby with adorable sticking-up dark hair. 

I am so glad I went—the sermon was actually (kind of) about running!  Our pastor was talking about resurrection, and how when you think all hope is gone there are miracles and triumphs of the human spirit.  She started talking about Team Hoyt.  (You should definitely go read their full story.)  Basically, the son was born with severe brain damage as a quadriplegic, and the doctors told his parents to give up on him and put him in a home because he’d be a vegetable.   They didn’t give up hope, and their son went on to graduate college, and his father has pushed him in over 1,000 races—everything from 5Ks to Ironman Triathlons (and a 2:40 marathon!  Holy cow!).

It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I’m not intensely religious, though I do enjoy going to church, and obviously, in my “I don’t know if I can do this” state re: half marathon, this really spoke to me.  I won’t give up hope and I will keep fighting.

We stopped on the way home for a little sale Easter candy, since the Easter Bunny did not come to our house.  Yum!0404 002

Then I went home and baked peanutty banana chocolate chip muffins.  They are delicious and will be heading too work with Tim tomorrow.0404 008

Easter dinner?  Rachel at Shedding It’s Prosciutto-wrapped Pork Loin, Christmas rice, and steamed green beans.

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This recipe for pork was MAGICAL.  It was nice and moist.  I usually shy away from pork because it always comes out dry and tough, but this was awesome.  This will definitely be going in our rotation.

I overcooked the green beans, though.

For dessert, I made Cookie Dough Brownies.  They are chilling in the fridge as we speak.

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Someone requested the recipe for these bad boys earlier this week, so here you go!

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0404 007 I cut down on prep time by just using a brownie mix for the brownie part.  The cookie dough topping and glaze is really the important part!

Here are a few more recipes that people wanted to see!

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Pretzel Jello SOUNDS gross, but is secretly delicious.  I swear. 

I’ve never tried the make-your-own-cleaning wipes, either!

Anyway, I think we are going to take Milhouse for a nice long walk outside while it’s still light out.  I hope you enjoyed your Easter!

Recommend your favorite pump-you-up songs for my half marathon playlist.  I have an hour and a half on there now, so I need at least another 45 minutes to an hour (unless I suddenly become Speedy Gonzalez.)  Help!

Flying solo

First of all, thanks for all the sweet comments re: Ronda!  I am glad we are besties again.  It’s amazing what little changes can do, although I do need to get some new, slightly stronger Spanx to hopefully eliminate the hip wrinkling that’s going on now.  (The pair I wore yesterday were old and kind of stretched out.)

Anyway.  Day one of my bachelor party widowhood!

Made a fresh green monster at lunch.  Cherries, chocolate whey, milk, and spinach. 

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For my afternoon snack I sampled a new flavor of Luna Bar I saw at the grocery store the other day.

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I’m not really a big blueberry fan, but I’m a sucker for a label that says “NEW!”  I was pleasantly surprised with this!  It had kind of a blueberry jam-like topping that I really enjoyed.  It’s a hair too sweet, but most Luna Bars are, so nothing new.

Anyway, the afternoon dragged on…and on…and on.  But finally it was time to go home.  This has been a crazy week!  To put things in perspective, I leave for work at 7:15 am.  On Wednesday I got home at 7:30 pm, on Thursday I got home at 7:45 pm, and today, I got home at 5:30…to pick up the dog and walk right out the door again.

Milhouse needed to be groomed; namely, his anal glands needed to be expressed.  (The joys of dog ownership!)  So I picked him up, and dropped him off at the groomer’s.  While he was being groomed I had dinner at Panera, and did a little shopping!0312 004

Paul Mitchell Quick Slip.  Apparently this stuff cuts your blow-drying time in half, which is what my ridiculous moptop needs right now.  (Tim complained about my lengthy blow-drying this week.  I can’t wait to get my wife chop.)

Milhouse was happy to be done at the groomer’s.  He’s exhausted, poor thing, and so am I!

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I’m finishing up a little B&J FroYo, catching up on Real Housewives, and hopefully hitting the sack nice and early.  (If the dog and cats don’t decide to chase each other around like madmen/women at bedtime again, that is.)0312 006

As for running, I’ve done all my mileage this week except the 3 miles and cross day.  I am going to play it by ear tomorrow—I will either take Milhouse out for a nice, easy wog (walk-jog) or skip it.   It’s cold and rainy and I just have not seen the inside of my house enough this week.  I’ve scheduled a sports massage for myself for 11:15…I still have that knot in my calf from trying out those stupid arch supports.  I’m also going to attempt to find ANOTHER shower dress (I’d puke, but I think I have a good action plan for tomorrow).

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Happy Thanksgiving?

Today at work we celebrated Thanksgiving.  Basically, our employer provided turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese and cornbread, and everyone else brought a side dish, drink, or dessert to share.  Last night I made brownie balls.

I was a little worried about navigating such a food feast, but set up a few “rules” for myself beforehand:

  • Load up on turkey.  It’s hard to de-healthify plain white meat, and I love it.
  • One small spoonful of the things I love.
  • Don’t try things just to be polite.
  • If you don’t like something, don’t keep eating it.
  • Eat special holiday foods, not stuff you could have every day.
  • Save room for dessert!

Here is what I wound up with:

Turkey, a small scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy, a slightly larger scoop of mac and cheese (it’s my favorite!), a scoop of something I think was stuffing but just tasted like salt and pepper so I stopped after a bite, a roll, and some fresh fruit.  (Veggies are absent because they were all swimming in cream soups, which I don’t find appealing.  I was hoping for a green salad, but no luck.)  The turkey was good, and so was the mac and cheese, but the rest was just okay.

Then I went back for dessert.  Instead of taking full servings of everything, I was that annoying co-worker who cuts pieces of things in quarters.  I had a quarter-slice of turtle cheesecake, a quarter-slice of regular cheesecake, a tiny scoop of pecan pie, and one of my brownie balls (I had to try them).

Was this a “diet meal”?  No.  Did I intend it to be?  No.  Did I follow the guidelines I set up for myself? Yes!  Did I eat mindfully and intuitively?  Yes!  So, go me.  I also didn’t need an afternoon snack after all of this like I usually do before the gym, so I skipped it, instead of eating it anyway.  I’ll chalk this up as a success.

In other news,  I am definitely feeling the burn from No More Trouble Zones so I wanted to do something more cardio-based today.  I love that my abs are feeling sore and ripped–core exercises bore me to tears, so I pretty much never do them on my own.  Also, my weird genetics dictates that I don’t really hold fat around my middle–it’s all in my thighs–so I don’t usually feel like that area needs to be worked since it stays relatively flat with relatively little work.   I really do need angry Jillian yelling at me to work that area, unfortunately, and she did not disappoint.

Unfortunately, after lunch my stomach started feeling nauseous…and crampy…and bloated.  But, I sucked it up and went to the gym anyway.  When I feel like going home instead of the gym, I just remind myself that I very rarely regret going to the gym, but I almost always regret skipping it.

So, I went and ran a 5K in about 30ish minutes.  I was still feeling gross at the end, so I didn’t go any farther, but I’m happy with what I did!

And, sadly, the blog-nouncement has to wait just a little longer.  Sorry guys!  Hopefully it’ll be within the next day or two!

What are your favorite holiday meal eating strategies?

FOOD.

When T and I got engaged, we talked priorities.  “Awesome food” was number one.  Honestly, neither of us cared at all about how pretty our reception location was, as long as it wasn’t heinously tacky, if the food was good.

Anyway, our reception location is pretty cool-looking anyway (kind of reminds me of a 1940s lounge or something) and we like it.  But now, we are dealing with picking a menu.  Our dinner will be served family style, so large dishes will be brought to each table and passed around and refilled as needed.  We get two appetizers, two salads, two pastas, two entrees, and two desserts (plus wedding cake).  Since we are doing our tasting on Saturday and are limited in the amount of stuff we can take, this is what we roughly have listed as definite selections or contenders for each course.

Appetizers

  • Stuffed mushrooms: Jumbo mushroom caps stuffed with spinach and topped with our seasoned breadcrumbs and house cheese; served in a white wine chicken broth. (definite.  These are to die for.)
  • Bruschetta: Italian garlic bread toasted and topped with a tomato bruschetta relish made of diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic. (definite.  We both love it and it’s a crowd pleaser.)

Salads

  • Spinach: Tender leaf spinach tossed with roasted red peppers, sweet roasted onions, gorgonzola cheese, apple cider vinigrette and topped with smoked bacon and toasted pine nuts. (Definite.  We love spinach and spinach salads.  Lettuce doesn’t often find it’s way into our house.)
  • Italian tossed salad: Iceberg, Arugula, Kalamata Olives, Red Onions, Pepperoncini & Italian Vinaigrette (Contender.  We’re sampling it on Saturday.)
  • Tomato and mozzarella caprese:(Contender.  Sampling on Saturday, and oddly there is no menu description of this)
  • Italian antipasti (Contender.  Ditto above.)

Pastas

  • Rigatoni “D”: Rigatoni pasta, herb roasted boneless chicken, mushrooms and onions, tossed in a light Marsala cream sauce. (Definite.  We love this and want to have one cream-based and one tomato-based pasta)
  • Baked ziti and sausage: (Contender.  No menu description.  Sampling this on Saturday.)

Entrees

  • Chicken marsala: Chicken breasts sauteed with marsala wine, veal sauce, mushrooms, onions and basil. (Contender.  Sampling on Saturday.)
  • Beef braciole: (Contender.  Sampling on Saturday.  No description.)
  • Oven roasted pork loin with a balsamic glaze: (Ditto above.)

Desserts

  • Wedding cake!  We’re sampling this on Sunday, yum, but that will probably involve chocolate.
  • Profiteroles and vanilla ice cream: Pastry shell filled with vanilla bean ice cream and topped with our own hot fudge and fresh whipped cream; dusted with cocoa powder and powdered sugar. (Contender. Sampling this on Saturday.
  • New York style cheesecake: New York style ricotta cheesecake topped with fresh berries and whipped cream. (Contender.  We’ve had this before and it’s fantastic, even though I’m not really a cheesecake person.)
  • Tiramisu: Ladyfinger cookies soaked in espresso and coffee liquer layered with mascarpone cheese;dusted with cocoa powder and served with chocolate (Contender.  We’ve had it before, and it’s T’s favorite, but I’m not a big fan.)

So, what do you think?  What do you like/don’t you like?  We are not sure if we have to build a veggie option in or if they will have something, but don’t worry–we have a few vegetarian guests and will definitely accommodate them.

Because this post has no illustrations…here’s a picture of Southpaw showing off her latest interest–drinking out of the toilet.  Classy.

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